Friday, October 14, 2016

HALL-O-WEEN - EV Melotte

As I was preparing this to go onto blogger I realized that I don't think that one of my favorite Columbytes, Alice Schmidt reads this blog and I bet she would love my moms writing. I'll have to figure out how to get the transcripts to her.


     As I ruminated this past week, trying to remember something interesting about a “holiday” that had no relevance whatsoever to my childhood, a thought occurred to me that I did find interesting.

     I realized that if ever I were to write my full autobiography it would have to be in at least seven separate sections.  I’ve lived in at least seven separate lives, with different surroundings, different conditions, different cultures, different casts of characters, and in each one I played a different role.

     So please forgive me if you find it boring when I say, “In Goodrich it was this and in Holway it was that and in Iowa it was thus and in Whitewater it was that other—.”  I have to do it that way.  No generalization will work.  Those four lives couldn’t have been more different if I’d moved from a farm in Wisconsin to a native village in New Zealand to a castle in Germany to a slum in Hong Kong.

     I suppose I can say that one thing that carried through all four childhood lives was the utter non-importance of Hall-o-ween.  As a “holiday” it was at most acknowledged, --as in “Hey, it’s the 31st.  Isn’t that Hall-o-ween? Yeah, I thought so,” and then ignored.

     In Goodrich, we may have had cut-out construction paper jack-o-lanterns in the school windows. I’m not sure if that’s a memory or just an adult assumption, since most present schools seem to have jack-o-lanterns in the windows in October.

     In Holway, Hall-o-ween didn’t exist.  The Amish took their religion seriously.  Any honoring of witches, goblins, ghosts or vampires would have been unthinkable.

     I can’t remember any Hall-o-ween in Iowa either.  I can’t even visualize any jack-o-lanterns in the school windows.  But then, I can’t remember any Christmas tree or valentine there either, so maybe it’s my memory at fault.

     In Whitewater we are back to acknowledging and ignoring it.  We never had Trick-or-Treaters, but that custom may have been on hold during wartime.  On the other hand, it’s a certainty that no parents in town would have ever allowed their children to come to the Granzow house.  I didn’t miss the little ghosts and goblins because I’ve never heard of Trick-or-Treat until I married Dev.  Dev and his friends called it Cabbage Night because they used to pull cabbages from the local gardens and throw them on the front porches of households who didn’t provide treats.  Sometimes they didn’t even ask for treats, because they enjoyed pulling and throwing cabbages more than getting the candy.

     There were a couple of Hall-o-weens that my brother celebrated with serious vandalism—acts far beyond the term of “malicious mischief.”  I didn’t know about those until after the fact, and except for adding more dirt to the family reputation, they didn’t concern me.

     There was one remembered Hall-o-ween incident that no one in my family was involved in—at least as far as I know—but it was novel enough to make a good story.  I was a student at the College High School at the time (Whitewater) .  This was housed in the middle section of the Old College Building, the part with the tower.  It was known as Old Main and was burned down during the student riots.  The door to the Tower Room was always kept locked, because, we were told, the stairs were rotting and unsafe.

     On November 1st, in either my Junior or Senior year, we arrived at school to hear a cow bawling her head off from the Tower.

     All first hour classes were cancelled.  We were all—College, High School and Elementary School, ordered to attend a Special Assembly in the College Auditorium.  All the school administration officials were seated on the stage.  The College Dean took the podium and assured us that all the Administration agreed that putting a cow in the Tower was a spectacular Hall-o-ween prank and would be remembered forever, and that they had all agreed that no attempt would be made to discover the perpetrators, and should they accidentally find out who did it, they guaranteed—they made a solemn and binding promise—that nobody would be in any way punished, if the perpetrators would now get that cow safely down again.  And until they did, would some kind person please see to it that the cow was fed, watered and milked as soon as possible.

     Then we all went back to classes, and soon the cow stopped bawling, and just gave a half-hearted “moo” once in a while, and the next morning she was gone.

     I’ve always pictured that cow going back to the herd and telling all the other cows about being kidnapped and held prisoner in a tower, and all the other cows saying, “yeah, yeah, that’s a great story, --but where were you, really?”

       ---EV Melotte


Ken Bone update.  Mr. Bone now as over 200,000 Twitter followers!  Good Grief.

According to Quarzt, 70% of food manufacturing marketing budgets go towards supermarkets product placement fees.  Every time you enter into a food store you are entering a very scientific test environment where they know exactly where your eyes are going to go.  For instance, Woodmans, you know that loud floor in that produce area?  That floor causes people to buy 18% more produce.

People slow down and look around more.


Aaron Rodgers has the lowest completion percentage in the NFL for starting QBs.  However - he is still a good consistent buy on fanduel.


22,240 people are employed by Donald Trump, yet only 12 have contributed more the $200 to his campaign.  The parties know everything about everybody, there are no secrets.


Australia moved 2.7 inches this year. For the 5th time they are needing to reset their official coordinates.  Watch out if you follow your GPS - you could be way off.


There is other news in the world besides The Donald - like the shooting war between the US Navy and Yeman with cruise missiles and Tomahawks flying back and forth.  But that is just a side note. Back to real news like what The Donald said this time.


Nate Silvers site now has Clinton at a 84.4% chance of winning and a 60.3% chance of the left winning the Senate.  I also heard that both parties are now eyeing the House and secretly one side is increasingly nervous about losing 30+ seats.  Of course you would have to roll double six's but all of a sudden it's not out of the realm of possibility.

Have a great weekend.